Webinar answers key COVID-19 questions for healthcare professionals

With the overwhelming amount information about COVID-19 making headlines every day, it’s important for healthcare professionals to have accurate, current information.

By Amanda Woroniuk

Healthcare professionals from around the province, across Canada and internationally tuned into an educational webinar hosted by the Division of Continuing Medical Education (CME) to learn more about COVID-19 transmission and exposure, precautions, risks, personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing. 

The online session allowed infectious disease experts to share information related to COVID-19 and allowed participants to ask specific questions through a videoconferencing format. The webinar is part of a series of CME resources to educate and answer common questions around COVID-19.

“We know this is a time of uncertainty in our province and our office wants to ensure physicians and other healthcare professionals have access to the information and resources they need. At CME, we believe ‘educated care is better care’,” said Dr. James Barton, associate dean, continuing medical education. This was the first time CME has hosted a webinar.   

“Clearly there's an appetite from physicians for education around COVID-19 – the one thousand registrations we had (for the webinar) is testimony to that,” Barton added. “CME is grateful to the panelists who gave their time and expertise as well as the USask IT group who supported the venture and quickly helped us put this plan into action.”

The webinar was moderated by Barton and included three experts who joined the session remotely: Dr. Shaqil Peermohamed (Department of Medicine), Dr. Kathy Malejczyk (Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) and Dr. Stuart Skinner.

Malejczyk referenced COVID-19 literature including virus exposure and transmission, and behaviour of the virus on different surfaces. She shared research findings and the application in clinical and community settings. Peermohamed provided information on the accuracy and testing criteria for diagnostic testing, and referenced the guidelines on the Government of Saskatchewan website, while Skinner offered insight into the statistics on incubation periods and demographics at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.

In addition, panelists also highlighted the importance of basic prevention measures including proper hand hygiene and surface decontamination, and went through scenarios for approaching patients who are either asymptomatic or at high-risk for COVID-19.

A recorded version of the webinar is on the CME website.